March 23 2011.

A police motorcycle operation, targeting nuisance moped riders and motorcyclists, has resulted in 15 people being stopped during random roadside checks. In addition, nine other motorists were penalised for various traffic offences including not wearing a seat belt, using a mobile phone, having overly tinted windows and no insurance.

Held in Medway last Sunday, the operation is part of an ongoing effort on selected weekends over the next few months to reduce the number of moped riders and bikers who are killed and seriously injured on our roads.

Of the 15 riders pulled over, seven were given an on the spot fine and eight were given advice. The offences include:

Illegal number plate 2

No driving licence 2

Illegal noisy motorcycle exhausts 3

Officers from the Motorcycle Unit, within the force's Tactical Operations Group, used the Dynostar, a piece of road safety equipment on loan from Medway Council, to test mopeds for illegal modification.

It identifies, in seconds, any moped that has been illegally altered and, as a result, is capable of going faster than the legal limit of 31mph for moped licence holders.

While only one in 100 road users is a motorcyclist, a quarter of serious road collisions involve riders. Last year 184 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured on Kent's roads. Of those, 24 were people riding a bike 50cc or under, with five of those in Medway. Although, these figures have reduced this year to 16 (two in Medway) Kent Police and Medway Council are keen to ensure those figures continue to fall. These road checks will be used to interact, educate and enforce legislation.

Inspector Paul Sellwood from Kent Police said: "Our priority is reducing the number of killed and seriously injured on our roads and motorcyclists can be particularly vulnerable when involved in a collision.

"We use the Dynostar as an enforcement tool to prosecute riders who do not have driving licences or insurance to use mopeds that exceed their speed restriction. Riders risk having their mopeds seized when
such offences are committed.

"Road users' safety remains of paramount importance."

Councillor Phil Filmer, portfolio holder for Front Line Services at Medway Council, said: "Modifying mopeds to go faster puts people at greater risk of serious injury or worse. These road checks are a good way for the council and our partners to explain to riders why it is so important to drive legally and safely.

"It could be the difference between life and death."